Alternative Dispute Resolution

Traditionally contract disputes have been resolved either through the government dispute process or through litigation. This course examines other approaches collectively known as “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR), overviewing the long history of ADR, the elements of ADR, and its advantages and disadvantages. The four major ADR approaches ― negotiation, mediation, arbitration and mini-trial ― are each described in terms of their processes, procedures and appropriate uses.  The course will address the role of ethics in the use of ADR. It will also consider how to establish an ADR program in an agency and how to build ADR language into solicitations and contracts. Practical examples, discussion, group exercises and case studies will be used throughout the course.

There are currently no available dates for this course.


Upon successful completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Justify the use of ADR as a means of conflict resolution
  • Evaluate dispute situations to determine if ADR is an appropriate means of resolution.
  • Select the appropriate ADR approach for a particular situation. 
  • Modify solicitation and contract language appropriately to allow for ADR as a means of conflict resolution.
  • Describe the steps required to set up a successful ADR program in an agency. 
  • Describe the ethical issues involved in ADR. 

Intended Audience

This course is targeted to individuals who meet or exceed the following professional demographics: 

  • Mid-level public procurement and central warehouse professionals who serve as senior buyers, managers, directors, or equivalent functions within their respective entities.  
  • Non-procurement managers and supervisors who either provide procurement functions that support entity programs under delegated authority, or who already have a good understanding of basic procurement principles but wish to get more in-depth, hands-on training.  
  • Professionals who are employed by local governing entities and special authorities (such as K-12 and higher education, publicly owned utilities, transportation providers, and other publicly funded or created entities) who either serve within or manage the procurement function. 
  • Supplier managers and supervisors seeking to understand the public procurement function from a more in-depth holistic level, including the policies, standards, and procedures by which public entities must function. 

Delivery Formats Available


Contact Hours





2 Day



Designed for public procurement professionals who have at least five years’ experience

UPPCC Domain Alignment

Domain 3

Available in these learning formats...


Instructor led discussion style classroom setting for those who prefer focused learning with maximum in-person interactions with instructors and peers.

2 Day Course


Course Outline

  • Day 1:
    • Pre-test
    • Introduction to ADR
      • ADR definition and scope
      • History of ADR
    • Why use ADR
    • Advantages and disadvantages – What’s in it for Purchasing?
      • ADR vs. litigation and expected results
      • Current use / popularity of ADR
    • Disputes appropriate for use of ADR
    • ADR approaches, advantages and disadvantages of each, role of legal counsel
      • Negotiation
      • Mediation​
      • Arbitration
      • Mini-trial​
      • Other
  • Day 2:
    • Selecting the appropriate ADR approach to fit the dispute
    • Starting an ADR program in an agency
    • Incorporating ADR into contracts
    • Ethics in ADR